In a soccer game, most of the spotlight is focused on the attackers and the goal scorers, which mostly consist of midfielders, wingers and strikers on a given team. The fans love to see their favorite teams play some dazzling soccer, but someone who is often the guardian angel for their team is the goalkeeper. Acting as the last line of defense, the goalkeeper is crucial in making sure their teams don't concede cheap goals, giving them a chance to win games at all times. The importance of a goalkeeper is unparalleled, and a world-class one can definitely win matches on their own because of their fantastic work between the goal-posts.
While there have been quite a few goalkeepers in the Premier League who won crucial points or even games for their sides with their stunning performances, there has also been a share of underwhelming goalkeepers in every team's history. There has been a number of disappointing goalkeepers who, with their error-prone nature, always landed their teams in a load of trouble. These poor goalkeepers conceded many cheap goals during their stint in the Premier League, and it was because of their mistakes that their sides lost matches. While some of these goalkeepers are remembered by fans, most of them have deservedly been forgotten because of their poor stints with the clubs.
These ineffective goalkeepers provided absolutely nothing positive for their sides and ended up creating bigger issues for their clubs. Let's look at every Premier League team's least effective starting goalkeeper in their history.
20 Arsenal: Manuel Almunia
It's come off a surprise that Manuel Almunia made over 100 appearances for Arsenal in his career and knowing just how error-prone he was, many Arsenal fans themselves were enraged at why he wasn't replaced earlier. Almunia started off as an understudy to Jens Lehmann at Arsenal, before earning his own place in the starting line-up. But things started to go wrong for the Gunners with him in goal, as the Spanish goalie consistently made some horrible fumbles to concede poor goals. He was extremely inconsistent and a frustrating figure to watch, and Almunia's ineffective displays finally forced Arsenal to get rid of him in 2012 and get someone more reliable as their last line of defense.
19 Bournemouth: David Button
Being a graduate of the Tottenham Hotspur academy, there were quite a lot of expectations from David Button, especially when he joined Bournemouth when they were lingering in the Third division of English Soccer. The Cherries brought Button on loan from Spurs, a decision which they would regret almost from the get-go. Button got the opportunity to be the starting goalkeeper for Bournemouth, but could only make four appearances for the club. He was extremely disappointing in goal and conceded some really silly goals during his stint with them. Bournemouth happily sent him back to Spurs after a month and Button's awfully poor performances with Bournemouth keeps him in an isolated company of being the Cherries most incompetent goalkeeper ever.
18 Brighton Hove & Albion: Tim Krul
Tim Krul was once regarded as one of the brightest goalkeepers in the Premier League, but his recent stint at Brighton proved that he's lost his reputation by quite a bit over the years. Krul joined Brighton as a stiff competition to Matthew Ryan, but his inability to impress meant that he failed to make a single appearance in the Premier League. Krul only played in Cup competitions and made around 5 appearances for Brighton at that. But he was quite slow and disappointed in the games which didn't let him get ahead of Ryan in the team. Krul's horrible tenure with Brighton ended when they recently sold him off to Championship side Norwich City, proving how horribly far he's fallen over the years.
17 Burnley: Mark Kendall
Mark Kendall looked to be in line for big things when he started his career with Tottenham Hotspur and even made over 20 appearances with them, but his poor goalkeeping skills didn't help him survive there much longer. Kendall later had a long career at minnows Newport County, before playing for Swansea City. He was then sent on a loan to Burnley from Swansea, something which turned out to be a terrible deal for the Clarets. While Kendall kept a clean sheet in his debut for them, he conceded five goals against Blackpool which ended his Burnley career. That awful performance was enough to damper his reputation and it's because of that horrible outing, some Burnley fans consider him as their most useless keeper ever.
16 Cardiff City: Peter Zois
Goalkeeper Peter Zois wasn't really even given a long-time contract by Cardiff City when he arrived at the club but was brought in on trial to be a replacement for injured starting keeper Jon Hallworth. Zois got his chance to shine against Rotherham United, but everything went horribly wrong for him in that match. Zois was extremely error-prone and looked all over the place in the 2-2 draw Cardiff played out with Rotherham. He made too many school-boy errors in the game and Zois awful performance angered manager Frank Burrows to the point that he canceled his trial the next day. Zois wouldn't get any chance to play for another English club after that and his one performance makes him Cardiff's most ineffective goalkeeper ever.
15 Chelsea: Marco Ambrosio
Marco Ambrosio spent over a decade playing in Italy before he was signed up by Chelsea in 2003 thanks to the recommendation from manager Claudio Ranieri. Ambrosio was brought as a back-up to Carlo Cudicini, but got some chances in Cup competitions and later in the big occasions thanks to Chelsea's goalkeeper injury crisis. But Ambrosio did not help his cause at all with his underwhelming performances, with his debut being riddled with horrific mistakes from the keeper. Ambrosio ended up being a really frustrating figure to watch for Chelsea fans, who really hoped that he didn't make more mistakes which would lose them matches and his poor, error-prone performances ended up making him a despised figure among the fans.
14 Crystal Palace: Paul Hammond
It was because Paul Hammond came up through Crystal Palace's youth system, which made many think that he would be a prolific player for them. But Hammond ended up being the complete opposite and created many problems for Palace during his stint with them. While Hammond played more than 100 matches for them, many were surprised at why Palace stuck with him, despite Hammond being so error-prone. It was with him as their keeper that Palace ended up being relegated twice and it was after they fell to the third division that they decided to get rid of him. Hammond's inconsistently poor performances over those years earned him a really bad reputation, with many considering him as one of Palace's most ineffective players ever.
13 Everton: Paul Gerrard
While the other "Gerrard" in Steven Gerrard might be a legend in Merseyside, Paul Gerrard is anything but that and his problematic years at Everton made him a heavily mocked player at Everton. Gerrard was actually with Everton for almost eight years and even though he had to play second-fold to someone else, he made almost 90 appearances for them! But it was his topsy-turvy nature which made him a disliked figure among the fans and Gerrard often came up with some hilarious errors which cost his side. Gerrard's hilarious error against Newcastle in 2001 included him mistaking a players head for the ball and he soon became a heavily-mocked figure among the Everton fans themselves with his horrific performances.
12 Fulham: Tony Warner
Tony Warner's career at Fulham was a topsy-turvy one and despite pulling of some freakishly good performances, he was extremely underwhelming in most of his games for them. After an initial lone with them, Fulham signed Warner in 2006 and started giving him more chances to shine for them. But Warner's performance-level just kept on dropping as he made schoolboy errors, especially one against Bolton when he literally gifted a goal to them. Warner's disappointing performances made Fulham lose faith in him and because of his heavily error-prone nature, he would be kept on the bench or out of the squad during most games. Warner was sold off by Fulham in 2008 and his career just declined after his horrific stint at Fulham.
11 Huddersfield Town: Tim Clarke
Tim Clarke is probably a figure who is heavily remembered by many Huddersfield Town fans, but sadly for all the wrong reasons as he ended up making a mockery of himself during his years with Huddersfield. Clarke made 70 appearances for Huddersfield, but his tendency of pulling off hilarious errors almost consistently ended up making him famous for the wrong reasons. Clarke soon got a nickname of "Coco" between Huddersfield fans, who used to hold in their breath when chances flew into Clarke's net. Clarke was the victim of a lot of banter from Huddersfield Town and because of his highly erroneous stint at the club, not only is Clarke one of their most ineffective keepers, but a not-so-fondly remembered one as well.
10 Leicester City: Zeljko Kalac
Zeljko Kalac might've been a popular player in the Australian League, but after moving to Leicester City, he failed to show that impressive side to him which made Leicester sign him. Instead, Kalac was only given a few opportunities to shine by Leicester, but couldn't grasp those chances as well. The 6'8' goalkeeper might've been a tower in front of goal, but his inability to react quickly and slow movement made Leicester soon became disinterested about him. Kalac would also make a few mistakes in his game for them and had a really short stint with the Foxes. In the end, Leicester decided to sell him back to Sydney United, with his tenure in England earning him a horrible reputation.
9 Liverpool: Adam Bogdan
Adam Bogdan seemed like a really promising signing for Liverpool back in 2015 when the Reds wanted him to improve their defensive sorrows which plagued them for many years. But after joining the English giants, Bogdan couldn't replicate the terrific performances which made them sign him and he frustrated fans with some bad performances. Be it directly conceding from corner kicks or dropping one to allow an opposition player to score goals, Bogdan had no physique at all and was often bullied by other plays. He folded under pressure and was extremely error-prone, which meant that Bogdan played only a handful of matches for Liverpool and will probably be considered as their most incompetent keeper ever after his failed stint.
8 Manchester City: Claudio Bravo
Claudio Bravo was signed in such an extravagant manner that fans started to think the world of him, only for the South American to let them down massively during the season. Despite being one of the most dangerous attacking teams in England, City retained a poor defensive record because of Bravo's antics in goal. He made too many errors, including one in his debut during the Manchester Derby when he gifted rivals Manchester United an easy goal. Bravo conceded 26 goals in the 22 games he played for City and was quickly dropped because of his shaky nature. Bravo enraged the fans with his error-prone performances and earned the reputation of being the flaw in an otherwise perfect City team.
7 Manchester United: Massimo Taibi
Massimo Taibi was brought in by Manchester United to fill the void in their goalkeeping department left by Peter Schmeichel, but he turned out to be their worst signings for many years. Taibi was played by United after their two regular keepers were injured and in his debut itself, he made a horrible mistake when his botched free-kick allowed an opposition player to score. Taibi looked extremely shaky whenever he played for the Red Devils and another infamous mistake against Southampton made everyone dub him as "The Blind Venetian". Taibi was also bad in United's 5-0 thrashing to Chelsea in 1998; his terribly error-prone performances earned him the reputation of being the most useless goalkeeper to ever play for the Red Devils.
6 Newcastle United: Dave Beasant
Newcastle United paid a then national record of almost $1 million for the services of Dave Beasant back in 1988 when they were struggling to stay afloat in the Premier League. Beasant earned a decent reputation with his celebrated career at Wimbledon, but once he moved to the Tyneside, all sorts of problems started happening. Beasant was surpisingly poor in his season with Newcastle United and his disappointing performances further deepened the problems for them. Beasant made around 20 appearances for Newcastle, but his error-prone and shaky nature in goal caused them to concede many goals. In the end, Newcastle saw themselves relegated from the First Division and Beasant's reputation got stained, as he is now recognized as Newcastle's most ineffective keeper ever by many.
5 Southampton: Paul Jones
Goalkeeper Paul Jones was a bit of a surprise addition for Southampton in the mid-90s, but the Saints relied on Jones' experience to fill the void in their goalkeeping department. Jones might've been an experienced player, but that didn't help his case at all in the Premier League. Jones' stint at Southampton was riddled with problems, mostly due to his inconsistency and inability to properly concentrate on the games. He gave some very poor performances and was full of mistakes throughout his career at Southampton, costing them dearly during many matches. Jones might've played more than 100 games for Southampton, but some of his horrific errors and terribly inconsistency earned him the wrong kind of reputation among fans.
4 Tottenham Hotspur: Heurelho Gomes
Heurelho Gomes was thought to be a promising goalkeeper in his early days, which made Tottenham Hotspur splash the cash for him back in 2008. That remains a decision which haunts Spurs to this very day and after being initially decent for them, Gomes' severe lack of judgment became soon evident. The Brazilian made some absolute basic errors and conceded ridiculous goals which really hurt Spurs' chances of winning many games. He often let the ball go between his legs or wouldn't be able to collect the easiest of shots and his high-profile errors made Gomes a laughing stock in the Premier League. Gomes was eventually replaced with a 40-year-old Brad Friedel, something which proved how ineffective he was.
3 Watford: Orestis Karnezis
It's quite surprising to discover that Watford actually survived in the Premier League after having Heurelho Gomes as their goalkeeper for many years, but someone who even put Gomes to shape was Orestis Karnezis. The Greek Goalkeeper was brought in to be Gomes' understudy, but after the Brazilian suffered an injury, Karnezis made his Premier League debut in a match against Everton. The debut would be an absolute failure, with Karnezis making two awful errors, one in which he allowed an Everton player to drive past him and score. While Karnezis did pull off some decent saves in his next matches, he always looked too prone to mistakes and manages to topple Gomes in being Watford's most useless goalkeeping signing ever.
2 West Ham United: Allen McKnight
West Ham United fans conjured up a clever little nickname for goalkeeper Allen McKnight during his years with the club, as they started calling him "McKnightmare" because of his error-prone nature. McKnight was brought in to help strengthen West Ham defensive solidity, but he further weakened it to the point where the Hammers were conceding cheap goals almost every game. McKnight made horrible errors frequently and lost West Ham many matches on his own because of his poor performances. In the end, his antics played a part in West Ham getting relegated in 1989, after which they finally realized to drop him. McKnight scared his own fans with his shaky nature and is the most ineffective keeper to ever don a Hammers shirt.
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Stefan Postma
Stefan Postma was quite a disappointing goalkeeper for years, which made it even more surprising when Wolverhampton Wanderers signed him on loan in 2005, with them desperately in need of a quality goalkeeper. Postma was to be the solution to their problems, but he further increased their issues with his horrible antics in goal. Postma made around 32 appearances for Wolves, but was extremely underwhelming and made too many errors in crucial moments. Postma let in too many cheap goals throughout his stint at Wolves and often got them into tight spots with his lapses in concentrations. Wolves ended up selling him only a year after signing with them, which pleased the fans who definitely consider him as their most useless goalkeeper ever.